Marine Biologist, Environmental Writer (1907-1964)
Rachel always loved nature, and early in her life recognized the beauty and importance of the environment. She studied biology (life science) and zoology (study of animals) at Johns Hopkins University. Rachel worked as a biologist at the Bureau of Fisheries, in Washington, DC. While working there, she wrote pamphlets, and also wrote several award winning books about the ocean. Rachel discovered how damaging pesticides (bug killing chemicals) could spread disease and kill crops. She also discovered that many other animals were poisoned by pesticides because they ate the poisoned insects, and that soil and water were tainted by pesticides. After learning these things, Rachel wrote the book Silent Spring in 1962, which warned people of the ill effects of pesticides. Many people heeded Rachel's warnings and laws were created to protect the environment from poisonous pesticides.
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Information adapted from History of Women in Science for Young People by Vivian Sheldon Epstein.